List Building and Autoresponders

Following on from my last post Make Money or Save Money?, where I looked at several honest methods of making money by actually saving money ( you have to read it!), I’m going to turn my attention back to one of the oldest and still most successful ways of making money online.

List building and doing it using the favourite tool of the Internet Marketer, the autoresponder.

We’ve come a long way in the last year or two in the general mode of thinking when it comes to list building. It is something that has been around for a very long time and will probably still be around after all the current fad make money techniques and search engine subterfuge have died away.

The reason that “the list” is where the money always was and still very much is, boils down to one major fact of life. Trust.

If you are trusted, then people are more likely to buy something from you or something you recommend than from someone they don’t trust. Trust has to be earned and one sure-fire way to earn people’s trust is to keep in contact with them and prove to them that what you are selling or recommending is giving them true value. People hate to be ripped off, but the flipside of the coin is they love to be shown respect and honesty. The honest Internet Marketer who can prove their integrity and honesty to a wide group of people gains their respect and will be seen as someone who deserves their loyalty and trust.

Many Internet Marketers who fall over and blow it are the ones who build up a huge list then rip the people on that list off by selling them crap, or trying to sell them too much too soon. Greed is the common denominator in many an Internet Marketer’s downfall.

So where does that leave someone who wants to be successful, make a lot of money the honest way and keep doing it if they can’t sell a ton of products to their list constantly and often?

Well, it means using the benefits of having a large list to make money but not being so greedy and hasty as to go at it too quickly and with products that are not 100% value for money. By all means build as large a list as you can and give them plenty of free stuff. Everyone loves something for nothing and the more free stuff you can give away to your list that has value for them (even though its free) the more the people on that list will trust you. If, every once in a while you throw in something that your list will have to pay for, as long as you explain how it will benefit them and give them more value than the money they would spend on buying it, then you should be ok and will not alienate anyone from your list.

Be honest and tell them if there are any aspects of the product you want to sell them that might detract from its value to them. Or highlight specific areas that the product will help them and those that will not help them. If they know exactly what they will be paying for before they open their wallets, there is much less chance they will be asking for a refund a few days later and sending you an unsubscribe email!

So this then leads me on to how to build your list.

The most important aspect of building a list is having a good autoresponder. An autoresponder is a software package that enables you to harvest the email address of anyone who opts-in to your free giveaway or promotion package and then sends them whatever emails are necessary for them to download your freebie as well as generating a series of follow-up emails as you define over a period of time.

By using a good autoresponder, you circumvent the possibility of being accused of sending spam emails. That’s because firstly, the person willingly gave you their email address and secondly, the subsequent emails send out contain an “unsubscribe” link should they wish to opt-out and no longer wish to receive any further emails from you. This is infinitely better than using your own host’s autoresponder service. That’s because any accusations of spam activity must be investigated by your host which could mean your account being suspended for the duration of the investigation. Meaning all your sites go down for an unspecified length of time. Which could be disastrous for your business.

So where do you get a good autoresponder?

Well, there are several good ones on the market of which some are free and some must be paid for. It stands to reason that the autoresponders that are paid for are going to be better in many ways to the free ones. They will contain several important features not available on free autoresponders and will be much more robust and reliable. One such offering comes from iContact Email Marketing. iContact is a simple to use email marketing, surveying, autoresponder and blogging tool. It allows small businesses, non-profit organisations and associations to communicate easily online with their customers, prospects and members. Its worth checking out as their monthly rates are highly competitive and the additional services that come with the package are substantial.

Of course its a matter of personal choice and there are other autoresponders around, so the honest way recommendation, as always, is to look at all of the available choices and weigh up the pros and cons before deciding upon which is best for your business.

Remember, once you’ve built up a solid list of email subscribers, you don’t need to keep trying to sell them stuff, otherwise you’re just using them as milking cows and people will not tolerate being treated as such. So there are lots of other ways to make use of your list while keeping in friendly contact on a reasonably regular basis. There are always free offers that you can direct their attention to – as long as you have checked them out yourself first and are happy they are not thinly veiled opt-ins for scams.

You can also direct their attention to other money making possibilities that you have affiliate links to, such as online writing sites like Constant Content that will pay them for selling their articles, or online job offers from legitimate companies.

Just as long as everything you recommend to your list is honest and trustworthy, you’ll keep the people already there while continuing to nurture it as it grows. From which you will make money, honest!

Terry Didcott
The Honest Way

Make Money or Save Money?

Following on from my last post How to Make Money with Something for Nothing, where I waxed lyrical about the promotion being run by RevResponse that made me an easy $50 for a simple review, its time to turn my attention on something that will not make money online for anyone, but might save a few dollars here and there.

Most people know about online stores and how they often promote their wares using things like discount coupons to attract visitors to their sites. These are really useful for anyone who is planning on buying something online, but what about the Internet Marketing fraternity?

How do we get our money saving discounts on the tools, products and services that we use? Well, affiliate marketers have long known that if they wanted to get their hands on a certain eBook that might teach them something about, say SEO or how to make money online by pressing a button and sitting back while the money falls out of the sky, then all they had to do was get their own account with Clickbank. That’s where most of the affiliate sales are generated from and if you have your own account there you can buy one of their affiliate products using your own affiliate link and get the discount for yourself.

How does that work then?

Well, you buy the product and pay full price, naturally. But the clever part is that because you have used your own affiliate link, the commission fee goes into your account. That helps push up your affiliate commission balance to your payment level and gets your next Clickbank cheque sent out to you that much quicker.

Nothing like earning commission for something you sell to yourself, is there?

But wait a minute. There is a flipside. What if you get the eBook that promises to turn you into a rich person overnight and after reading it, you realize that it was a load of bullshit hype and the only person that is really being turned into a rich person is the author and maybe one or two super-affiliates! Well, if you’d bought it normally, you would be completely within your rights to demand a refund and you’d get your money back of course.

But what happens when you bought it with your affiliate link?

Oh dear, major problems. First, when you sell something from clickbank as an affiliate and that product gets returned, your account is debited the commission your would have made had the buyer kept the product. Also, you get hit with a surcharge of something like $2.50 for your trouble! Now, in the normal run of things, this is no big deal because its a small risk you are already aware of (or should be) and its no great shakes, because your commissions from other sales will cover that small cost and you’ll get your next Clickbank cheque when you hit your limit anyway.

But when you bought the product yourself with your affiliate link, you don’t get all your money back, because of that surcharge and your account goes into a big minus if the product was an expensive one and you didn’t have any other sales when you bought it. Which does not look good on your account and means it’ll take that much longer to get back into the black and then earn enough commission to get your next cheque.

Just one of those things you should be aware of.

But I was talking about buying eBooks online that claim to tell you how to make money online. Bottom line is don’t buy anyone’s eBook because let’s face it 99% of them are recycled crap that are only designed to make money for the author and the affiliates. The buyer seldom makes any money with the vast majority of those so-called make money systems.

However there are one or two that actually do what the claim – which is to make money for you as long as you do what they tell you to do. One of these is a program that’s been going on for a good few years now but has stood the test of time and for newcomers to the world of Internet Marketing who haven’t made their first cent online actually will make you money. It won’t make you rich, but it will, with some work on your own behalf I have to admit, make you some decent money on a monthly basis. Enough to get you going and giving your business as well as your confidence a much needed initial booster.

What is this program?

Its called The Honest Income Program written by Steven Wagenheim and I am so pleased with it myself that I display it in this blog’s sidebar. If you are thinking about spending some money on a good online resource that will tell you how to make money online, that is one of the better one’s I’d personally recommend.

Its all down to whether you want to make money or save money online, I suppose. Most of us as Internet Marketers are here to make money, which is why we put so much energy, effort and time into our online businesses in order to make them grow so that we can eventually watch the money fall out of the sky for real!

Here’s to your continuing success!

Terry Didcott
The Honest Way